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Palace Coup

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Palace Coup
Conflict Unification Wars
Date ~700s.M30
Location Imperial Palace, Terra
Outcome Imperial victory
Imperium Rebels
Captain-General Constantin Valdor Primarch Ushotan (KIA)
Grand Provost Marshal Uwoma Kandawire
Amar Astarte (KIA)
~10,000 1st Legion Space Marines
Loyal Imperial Army
Handful of Custodes
Alpharius (allegedly)[2]
Surviving Thunder Warriors
Rebel Imperial Army including the Castellan Exemplars
Light All killed or arrested

The Palace Coup was an attempted coup by dissatisfied members of the Imperium towards the end of the Unification Wars.[1]


This page contains spoilers for: Valdor: Birth of the Imperium (Novel)

The conspiracy was led by Grand Provost Marshal Uwoma Kandawire, Thunder Warriors Primarch Ushotan, and Biotechnical Division head Amar Astarte. The conspirators intended to remove Constantin Valdor from power and put him on trial for the massacre of the Thunder Warriors at Mt. Ararat without consent of the High Lords of Terra. They did not intend to oust the Emperor, but rather intended to let him have the final judgement on Valdor's fate.[1a] However this was only the true goal of Kandawire. Amar Astarte had grown to believe the Primarch Project and raising of the Legiones Astartes doomed without the Primarch's available, while Ushotan simply sought revenge. The conspirators drew upon a variety of forces, from mercenaries to soldiers of fortune to Imperial Army units loyal to Kandwaire. At their core were Thunder Warriors under Ushotan and Amar Astarte's Castellan Exemplars, genetically engineered to be loyal only to her.[1b]

With the still under construction Imperial Palace sparsely populated and the Emperor busy with other projects, the conspirators expected they would be able to topple the regime inside the complex and arrest Valdor. Initially they met with great success and swept aside minimal loyalist Army units with little effort. However inside the incomplete Great Chamber of the Senatorum Imperialis Ushotan, Kandawire, and his Thunder Warriors were confronted by a lone Custodian in the form of Constantin Valdor. Valdor urged them to surrender, and when the conspirators refused the Captain-General unleashed the Angels of Death in what would be their very first live combat engagement. 10,000 warriors of the I Legion, only recently out of training, emerged and used their superior teamwork and discipline to mow down the savage Thunder Warriors and Army units with their new Boltgun weapons.[1c] Allegedly, Alpharius was among these troops, disguised as a regular Space Marine.[2] Amid the carnage Valdor and Ushotan dueled, with the Captain-General eventually slaying the Thunder Warriors Primarch. Before Ushotan died, he expressed his regret that Valdor was numb to all emotion and humanity.[1d]

Meanwhile, Amar Astarte journeyed into the Imperial Dungeon to destroy her lab and end the Legiones Astartes project forever. She was confronted by the Custodian Samonas, but the warrior was unable to prevent her from causing a catastrophic explosion that engulfed both the lab and herself. Samonas survived, but all of the genetic lore on the Primarchs was apparently lost. In truth, the Emperor had foreseen Astarte's treachery and had made backup copies of her data and samples and hidden them away elsewhere.[1e]

Ultimately, the coup was doomed from the very start and the Custodes were well aware of its planning even before it began. Surprisingly, Kandawire was granted amnesty and allowed to retire peacefully on Terra outside the walls of the Palace. The destroyed Imperial Dungeon meanwhile was cleared for use as the nexus of the Webway Project. Malcador returned to Terra shortly after the conspiracy had been put down, apparently having been on Luna preparing for the imminent assault there with the Emperor.[1f]